Monica Desmond, JV Program Coordinator
I’m a Northwest native who, after a few years away, made my way back west a few years ago, drawn by the mountains, rivers ocean, and the spirit of the people here. As a social worker, advocate, mother, and believer in the profound, creative, interconnected spark within all people, I am grateful to serve with JVC Northwest and be a part of developing the new health-focused JV community in Bend, Oregon. I’m a former JV (Portland, OR ’99-00) who can say without a doubt that through my JV year, I was “ruined for life”!
After graduating from Colorado College, I served in Portland at a behavioral health clinic as a JV and later as a street outreach worker. Through this, I became passionate about transforming policies and systems impacting people experiencing homelessness and health conditions. My desire to understand and be a part of improving systems, policies and programs has led me to a variety of experiences in direct social service, community organizing, policy advocacy, and program development. After attending the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration, I worked for the Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness, volunteered at a boarding school in Honduras, served with Franciscan Works, and most recently worked with the Central Oregon Homeless Leadership Coalition. I also serve on the Central Oregon Health Council’s Social Determinant of Health-Housing Workgroup, the Housing First and Frequent Users Workgroup, and on the Boards of Base Camp Studio and Franciscan Works+Liberia Mission.
Through these opportunities to engage in my community, along with serving in the JVC Northwest community, I strive to grow into the values, learning each day a fuller, deeper expression of what they mean for me and for our interconnectedness in the world. I find wisdom and energy in the values as they are guiding lights in the sometimes foggy and ever-unfolding terrain of life. When not working with nonprofits, dreaming about the ocean or alpacas, dancing, exploring healing practices, seeking silence, or trying to keep up with my children’s endless curiosity, I’m out on the trails with my family and sweet old golden retriever enjoying the abundant beauty of Central Oregon.
Want to contact Monica? Email her.